At this point, it’s probably safe to say you know what you’re signing on for when you pick up a new Skindred album. Their reputation for groove-laden riot fuel precedes them, and ‘Volume’ is hardly a break from the norm on that front. For Skindred, however, the consistency is a blessing when even their average is lightyears away from most other bands’ top gear.
On the whole, ‘Volume’ does feel decidedly more melodic than past Skindred records, with ‘Hit the Ground’ and ‘Saying It Now’ occupying a totally different end of the spectrum to the likes of ‘Nobody’, ‘Warning’ and other roar-along anthems. ‘Straitjacket’ is something of a middle ground, and placed between two rather expendable interludes it’s almost singled out amongst the tracklist. Boasting a breakdown to die for and some fantastic riffwork even by Skindred’s lofty standards, it shapes up as a song that just has to be experienced live. On record however, it’s still pretty damn good.
‘No Justice’ has all the makings of an instant mainstay amongst the most memorable Skindred tracks. It’s a shame how quickly it ends, but both lyrically and musically it leaves one hell of a mark. ‘Sound the Siren’ is no different, and while nothing on ‘Volume’ quite reaches the heights of ‘Kill the Power’ or ‘Union Black’’s standout numbers, there’s a lot to ensure the record will remain in pretty constant rotation.
The beauty of Skindred is often clearest in their live shows, but ‘Volume’ is a staunch reminder of how much they continue to kill it on record as well. We might have lost a fair few great Welsh bands in recent years, but thank Christ we’ve still got Skindred delivering albums like this.
‘Volume’ by Skindred is out now via Napalm Records.
Words by Antony Lusmore (@VilinskiKonjic)